Ryan sides with Emanuel on Chicago strike
September 10th, 2012
06:58 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan sides with Emanuel on Chicago strike

Portland, Oregon (CNN) - Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP vice presidential candidate, sided with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday in the strike by unionized Chicago teachers and urged President Barack Obama to stand behind his former chief of staff.

"Rahm and I have not agreed on every issue or on a lot of issues, but Mayor Emanuel is right today in saying that this teachers' union strike is unnecessary and wrong," Mitt Romney's running mate said at a campaign fund-raiser in Portland, Oregon.

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"We know that Rahm is not going to support our campaign, but on this issue and this day we stand with Mayor Rahm Emanuel," Ryan continued.

The Chicago Teachers Union, which represents nearly 30,000 teachers and support staff in the nation's third-largest school district, called the strike after negotiators failed to reach a contract agreement with school administrators despite eight months of talks.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday that Obama had yet to make an assessment on the walkout, but that the president's chief concern is for students and families affected by the strike.

Ryan urged Obama to take a stance on the labor tumult in his hometown.

"This does not have to divide the two parties," Ryan said. "And so we're going to ask, where does President Obama stand? Does he stand with his former chief of staff Mayor Rahm Emanuel, with the children and the parents, or does he stand with the union? On issues like this, we need to speak out and be very clear."

Earlier Monday, Romney released a statement expressing disappointment in the union's decision to strike, saying the group was putting self-interest ahead of students and parents. He also implicated Obama, saying the president has long sided with the unions, which are reliable sources of Democratic political donations. Unlike his running mate, Romney did not explicitly state his support for Emanuel.

Emanuel said he did not view Romney's remarks as helpful.

"While I appreciate his lip service, what really counts is what we're doing here and I don't give two hoots about national comments scoring political points or trying to embarrass or whatever the president," Emanuel said at a news conference.

Republicans have gone after public sector unions as a budget-cutting strategy in certain states and have demonized them as part of a broader attack on organized labor.

READ MORE: Political barbs fly amid Chicago teachers' strike


Filed under: 2012 • Paul Ryan • Rahm Emanuel
soundoff (331 Responses)
  1. Lean6

    Romney and Ryan are pathetic and transparent. Simply cannot stop playing "gotcha" politics. Hey Ryan, America already knows where President Obama stands on just about everything that there is. Get a clue.

    September 11, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  2. GI Joe

    Like what he says means a hill of beans to Rahm Emmanual. ha ha ha ha ha haha

    Ryan is a pimple on Rahm's butt. Or the equivalent.

    September 11, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  3. Mtebe Mabongo

    Ryan is with with Emmanuel to take votes away from Obama. The teachers should be ashamed. 75K average salary. That is about 20K above the national average. And they want 16% over 4 years. I'd fire the whole lot. They are very well paid. Enough

    September 11, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  4. Vad

    I think I side with the Mayor too. I haven't had a raise in three years with none on the horizon. I now pay more into health and retirement and I don't complain because I understand that less tax revenue means there is less to go around. These people were offered 4% pay raises for four years and thats not good enough? They are mad because there is going to be an evaluation system? Get back to work!!!

    September 11, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  5. Aaron

    I I can't stand these jerks, if they wanted better pay they wouldn't have become teachers. ITS ABOUT THE CHILDREN NOT YOU!!!

    September 11, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  6. PJ

    Why are teachers so afraid of being evaluated!!!

    September 11, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  7. pmangr

    Does anyone else find the comment by Romney " expressing disappointment in the union's decision to strike, saying the group was putting self-interest ahead of students and parents." a bit hypocritical?

    Isn't that what the GOP is doing in governance? Putting their party's self-interest ahead of the American people?

    September 11, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  8. Diana Stallard

    Let me see if I understand this, the party that professes its desire for much less federal government wants the President to insert himself in, not State, but municipal-level matters now?

    September 11, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  9. mttrailboss

    There is not one day, that I don't ask myself, do I like or dislike Rep. Paul Ryan. As being part of the 'middle-class' and a baby-boomer, senior citizen, retiree, veteran, disabled, member of AARP, and a person on Social Security with Medicare Part A and B. I can honestly say.., I don't like, nor trust Rep. Paul Ryan. Teachers' are the backbone of our education system and the students are our future. As much, as I am afraid and a little scared of Rep. Paul Ryan, and what he would do, with his new budget plan or bill, which would include a massive overhaul of Social Security including less money in my monthly check and less benefits.., I have NO reason to like Rep. Paul Ryan. If Rep. Paul Ryan is on former Governor Mitt Romneys' Republican Party ticket for president and vice president, I will not be voting for Mr. Romney or Rep. Paul Ryan. If.., mine you if, Rep. Paul Ryan was not on the ticket with Mitt Romney, I would consider voting his way. Until then.., I will be voting for President Barack Obama and hope and pray, that change will be coming to America and for the better.. I really don't like or trust Rep. Paul Ryan, who favors the wealthy and rich in America and somewhat wants the 'middle class' to become the poor and homeless in America. NO.., on Rep. Paul Ryan and I support the teachers'.. Mike in Montana

    September 11, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  10. Bob

    Do you know what happens when most people refuse to go to work until they get better pay? They get fired.

    September 11, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  11. Wisconsingirl

    Well, that was a pretty bipartisan article until the last couple of paragraphs. Demonize the unions? Yeah, that's not slanted reporting at all ...

    September 11, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  12. wallinbl

    This union is trying to get blood from a stone. There just simply isn't more right now. Times are tough. Get back in the classroom and revisit this when things get better.

    September 11, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  13. jon Rhodes

    Dear Mr. Ryan:

    Your political underwear is showing. You need to keep politics out of this very human struggle. Teachers have been underpaid and misused all across this country for years. When you say that you are on the side of the students, then you must be on the side of the teachers because they are the ones who care about students all year long, not just in an election year. On this issue, Mr. Ryan you are totally out of your element.

    September 11, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  14. AnnF

    Obama campaign promise: "I will get a comfortable pair of shoes and walk the picket line with you as President of the United States" He was a no-show in Wisconsin...now Chicago. He is not honest in his promises..ever!

    September 11, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  15. joel

    go teachers! woooohooooo! kids gotta be loving it. more pay for teachers! i mean, they do such a good job! and the parents are soooo good at raising their kids in america! HAHAHAHA were doomed, lets face it

    September 11, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  16. Jim

    Mr. Romney complains that the Union is "putting self interest ahead of students and parents". I thought that putting yourself first was the core belief of Republicans? The invisible hand? Greed is Good? Why is it when politicians talk about sacrifice it is always someone else? Should the teachers make a little sacrifice due to the poor state of the economy? Yes, but, in fairness, lets ALL sacrifice. Arguing that taxes are too high is "putting self interest ahead of students and parents", too.

    September 11, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  17. Kim

    Ryan is a small town boy with big ideas. This is the Rahm Show and Ryan needs to back off!

    September 11, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  18. sameeker

    If Rob Me is elected, we will likely see troops sent in to crush the strikers.

    September 11, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  19. KellyF

    This guy is such a fake pandering moron. I cant take ANYTHING he say seriously. He doesnt have a genuine bone in his body, he has already proven that time and time again.

    September 11, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  20. Bill

    Ryan, like most all GOP, is anti-union, anti -working people, so he would side with management in all cases. This strike challenges the test score crazy method of evaluating teachers and schools. Teachers end up teaching to pass standardized tests but don't have time to teach demoralized kids how to think, which should be the real goal of education!

    September 11, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  21. Name

    Ryan and romney needs to stop flip flopp their need to be a law against it

    September 11, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  22. Cecil

    Read Ayn Rand and you'll realize that all unions glorify a culture of weakness. Ryan understands this, and even though he won't admit it, it's well know that he even agrees with Rand's critique of God.

    September 11, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  23. TW1735

    II stand with Ryan

    September 11, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  24. The Urban Planner

    How Pathetic of Romney/Ryan. Neither one care about the average public school kid (which tend to be on the average black and brown kids). If this was happening in Cleveland, Detroit or Houston, neither would have come out and say anything. But because it is Chicago, they are trying to score political points on the cheap. Everyone sees through you, too bad their sheep-like supporters do not.

    Clam up, robots. Its a local issue.

    September 11, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  25. cynicalme

    Does this mean that President Obama will be marching in solidarity with the union, like Candidate Obama promised to do?

    September 11, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
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